Technology is changing rapidly thus affecting the way companies are operating.
The growth of big data has influenced the IT leaders to take a more data driven approach in order to make the right decisions for their companies.
However, collecting data with the right tools and analyzing data effectively can be a challenge thus affecting the overall performance of the company.
Most companies are also adopting mobile workforce allowing their employees to work from home.
These companies are therefore supposed to be ready to deal with any challenges that may arise with their laptops or systems while working from home to facilitate a smooth running of operations.
IT leaders have to determine which is the right technology to purchase for a company. They have to be mindful of the cost, the process and also the people managing that technology.
Users have to be trained which is also another expense making it even harder for these companies.
IT leaders also need to ensure that the customer experience is commendable.
All customers need to be happy in order to continue using the system and also to retain the customers.
They should always ensure that the customer experience is great and make the most out of it.
They should always look forward to minimizing the downtime in these systems.
All these challenges are encountered in most companies but they can all be overcome by simply outsourcing for these services.
One form of outsourcing is the use of a Managed Service Provider.
What is a Managed Service Provider?
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a third-party company that manages the network , applications and system management services dictated by a contract.
An MSP allows the companies to cut down on cost by providing IT expertise and improving their day-to-day operations without having to employ permanent employees to manage systems.
The services can also be delivered through the internet to facilitate the employees working from home.
An MSP will help the company focus on their strategic goals other than stressing over a failed system or application.
This will accelerate the growth of your company and they will also recommend any changes in technology to accommodate the growth of the company.
An MSP can be used in companies that do not have IT staff or those that need any additional services in their already existing IT department.
Example: Doe owns a construction company. His company uses a management system to manage the processes within the organization.
The company requires an IT department to manage the system. However, it does not have the financial capability to employ permanent IT staff since it is a startup and they have to cut down on cost.
What is the solution? The company contracts a managed service provider who runs and manages the IT aspect of the company. Basically the MSP, acts as the IT department of the organization.
Benefits of using a Managed Service Provider
Cost friendly: Employing permanent employees can really stretch the companies budget.
New technologies require new staff hiring and training. Most upcoming companies cannot sustain it.
Managed service providers allows the company to cut down on this cost.
The company signs a service level agreement that accommodates all the unique needs of the company.
Focus on the company’s core objectives: Mostly when dealing with new technology the focus tends to shift from the objectives to the current needs which is to understand the new tech.
It can also overwhelm the staff and fail to deliver on the intended goals.
To avoid all this, an MSP will help the staff stay focused on achieving the set objective which will also lead to the overall growth of the company.
Expertise: Every technology bares its own fair share of problems some of which the existing staff cannot handle.
Managed service providers have skilled staff that will professionally handle the very incident that arises.
Accommodates change: As the technology evolves, the MSP will be able to provide services that are required by the company.
The company can also choose to scale up or down depending on various factors.
This will enable monitoring and providing the best solutions as the business grows.
Round the clock support: Service desk support be it by mail, call or chat will facilitate quick assistance.
In case of any challenges the customer can just reach out and get a solution. Most MSP offer reliable response service.
System centralization: MSP allows the company to work from a centralized data center.
A centralized data center will allow faster accessibility by all staff from different locations.
It will also allow the staff to work from home comfortably since their data is available remotely.
Minimal downtime: MSP systems use a proactive approach for maintenance.
They identify potential problems that may arise and fixes them before they actually happen.
This will not waste any time for the company when such problems occur.
Security: Companies need protection from potential threats, frauds and attacks.
MPS provides security for the company’s data by minimizing any risk of attacks. They also ensure that the firewalls are up-to-date.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Managed Service Provider
Security: Security is one of the most important aspects in an any business.
Every company should have a strategic plan on how the company’s data will be maintained.
Data breaches, DOS attacks, hacking among other cyber security threats can compromise the company operations and reputation.
The damage caused by a security breach is usually bad since the company will end up losing clients thus losses to the company.
With managed service providers, the company should not only look for a company that will manage their IT infrastructure but also minimizes the risks of cyber security threats.
The IT infrastructure will be monitored and the data will be safe &secure.
Scalability: Currently in the world there is a rapid change in technology; technologies are evolving day after day.
Businesses are growing rapidly thus requires more complex IT support.
Getting a managed service provider that will manage the changing needs of your company is very crucial.
The services offered should be able to accommodate the all the needed required in your business or network.
The MSP should be able to keep up with the growing business demands.
Therefore, the company should really consider an MSP that offers scalable services to meet the changing needs of the company.
Overall experience and staff experience: The company has to have some proof to show that they have handled clients and offered exceptional services.
Note that the company does not need anything that will derail their progress in any way.
You must choose an MSP that has a proven reputation in meeting the needs of their diverse clientele.
The MSP staff also has to be experienced. It is always important to ensure that the personnel handling the infrastructure is qualified.
This will ensure that the services offered will meet the professional standards.
This will also help boost the confidence of the contracting company.
Availability: This is one of the key factors to consider. Imagine contracting a provider that does not offer services 24/7?
Nobody knows when an incident or an issue may arise therefore 24/7 availability is very crucial.
An MSP should be able to offer an IT service desk through chat, mail or call. This will facilitate efficient communication between the company and the provider.
The service desk will enable quick assistance from the provider. It will also help them detect issues early, troubleshoot them and correct them in time to not distract any processes in the company.
You should consider an MSP that offers continuous IT support that will address all concerns.
Number of personnel: It is crucial to know the number of workforce that will be available to provide a solution depending on the type and size of work.
Enough personnel will offer timely support to your company.
Lack of enough workforce will compromise on the delivery time thus there will a glitch in the flow of operations in the company.
Pricing Models: Companies ought to choose a provider with a sustainable pricing model.
IT issues may arise from computer crashes, cyber security troubles, network breach, software crashes among others.
The provider should be able to offer a solution that is flexible and mostly suits the customers budget.
It should have packages that will monitor the customer’s IT infrastructure and offer maintenance to prevent any future errors.
Ability to innovate: Adapting new technologies that will give your business a competitive edge.
The provider should be able to provide latest solutions for the company to ensure it remains relevant.
Service Level Agreement (SLA): An SLA is a contract between the service provider and client that states the services.
The provider should present an SLA that states the service they will provide for your company that should contain details such as escalation matrix,incident acknowledgment and resolution timelines and many more.
Managed Service Providers will help your company get the best services and also save on cost.
MSP are suitable for companies with no IT departments, IT staff and also companies who would like additional services for their existing IT team.
I strongly urge companies to embrace MSP to improve their services and also diversify their clientele base. I hope this review will help you consider getting a managed service provider.